Question: This is a message that I have seen a lot on the Internet: "In sha Allaah, at 12 midnight on New Years Eve we will all pray two rakahs, or read Quraan, or remember our Lord, or offer duaa, because ifour Lord looks at the Earth at a time when most of the world is disobeying Him; He will find that the Muslims are still obeying Him." Is it permissible to spread it and will we be rewarded for doing so?
Answer: Praise be to Allaah.You have done very well not to spread this message which is widespread on many websites on which uneducated attitudes and ignorance prevail. With regard to those who published this message and want the Muslims to pray and recite dhikr, we do not doubt that their intentions are good and great, especially if they want acts of obedience and worship to be done at a time when sins are being committed. But this good and righteous intention does not make the actions legitimate, sound or acceptable in shareeah. Rather it is essential that the action be in accordance with shareeah in terms of its reason, type, quantity, manner, time and place. In this manner the Muslim may distinguish between legitimate and innovated actions.
We may list the reasons why this message should not be spread by noting a number of points, including the following:
Jaahili Special Occasions There have been jaahili special occasions and special occasions of the disbelievers and misguided since the time of the Prophet (salallaahu alayhi wa sallam) until the present time, but we have not seen any text from the Prophet (salallaahu alayhi wa sallam) which encourages us to do acts of worship and obedience at the time when others are committing acts of evil and disobedience, or to do prescribed actions at the time when innovated actions are being done.
There is no report of any of the well-known imams recommending doing such a thing. This comes under the heading of dealing with sin by means of innovation, as happened in the case of responding to the innovation of mourning on the occasion of Ashoora, as done by the Raafidis, by introducing the innovation of spending a great deal and making a show of joy and happiness.
Shaykh ai-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (RAH) said: "As for taking the days of calamities as occasions for mourning, this is not part of the religion of the Muslims; rather it is closer to the religion of jaahiliyyah. Thus they missed out on the virtue and reward of fasting on this day. Some other people introduced things on the basis of fabricated hadeeths for which there is no basis, such as the virtue of doing ghusl on this day, or applying kohl to the eyes, or shaking hands. These and similar things are innovations, all of which are makrooh. What is recommended is to fast on this day". It is not permissible for anyone to change anything in Islam for the sake of anyone. Respect Islams Special Occasions There are special times for offering duaaand prayers as prescribed in Islam.
The Prophet (salallaahu alayhi wa sallam) encouraged us to offer duaaat these times, such as the last third of the night, which is the time when the Lord, may He be glorified and exalted, descends to the nearest heaven. Encouraging people to do that at a time when no saheeh text has been narrated concerning it is introducing legislation concerning the reason or the time, and going against shareeah with regard to either of them is sufficient to deem the action to be a reprehensible innovation, so how about if it has to do with both of them?!
The basic principle for a Muslim is to follow (the Sunnah) and not introduce innovations. Allaah says: "Say (O Muhammad): If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Quraan and the Sunnah), Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.Say (O Muhammad): Obey Allaah and the Messenger (Muhammad )." But if they turn away, then Allaah does not like the disbelievers "( Q 3 [A a I-Imraan]:21-32).
Ibn Katheer (RAH) said: "This verse states that everyone who claims to love Allah but is not following the path of Muhammad (salallaahu alayhi wa sallam) is lying in his claim unless he follows the path or religion of Prophet Muhammad (salallaahu alayhi wa sallam) in all his words and deeds, as it is proven in al-Saheeh that the Messenger of Allah (salallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever introduces an action that is not part of this matter of ours will have it rejected." [Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 2/32]
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al- Uthaymeen (RAH) said:"You should love the Messenger more than you love yourselves, and your faith is not complete unless you do that. Do not introduce into his religion anything that is not part of it.
What the seekers of knowledge should do is explain to the people and tell them: Occupy yourselves with legitimate and sound acts of worship; remember Allah; send blessings upon the Prophet (salallaahu alayhi wa sallam) at all times; establish regular prayer; pay zakaah; and be kind towards the Muslims at all times". [Liqaaaat al-Baabal-Maftooh, 35/5]
Enjoin The Good & Forbid The Evil
You are forgetting to do what you are obliged to do with regard to these sins and evils, which is enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, offering sincere advice to those who are going against Islam, and focusing on individual acts of worship when there are other communal acts of disobedience and evil which you should not do. What we think is that it is haraam to spread such messages and that it is an innovation to adhere to these acts of worship on such occasions.
It is sufficient for you to warn against haraam celebrations on occasions of shirk and innovation. You will be rewarded for that and you will be doing your duty with regard to these sins. And Allah knows best.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited